- Additional Plants: native plants
- Miscellaneous: mushrooms
- Crop Production: forestry
- Education and Training: on-farm/ranch research
Our farm consists of 217 acres with about 40 acres in grass and the remainder in woods. We raise beef cattle, chickens, and Great Pyrenees dogs. We have a large garden area and a two acre plot where we grow wheat, millet, and this year, tomatoes. We harvest our own hay each year, sell some to neighbors and store the rest in hay barn for our own winter feeding. We harvest the wooded areas for marketable oak and walnut trees and cut and sell the oak tops for firewood. There are several ponds and spring fed creeks running through the farm.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION AND RESULTS
We cut and inoculated hundreds of various sizes of logs form oak, elm and walnut trees and inoculated them with Reishi and Maitake spawn. The majority of the logs were oak. We drilled some logs, filled the holes with spawn, and then sealed them with wax. Others were inoculated on the ends and covered with aluminum foil. We also spread spawn on oak stumps and covered them with either aluminum foil or slice of the wood from the top of the stump.
Some of the logs were stacked in the shade under Cedar trees and watered on a regular basis. Others were put into a shed and received no water. Some were buried in pots and covered with dirt and sawdust. Some were put into the woods and only received water when it rained. We also placed some the logs in a controlled environment where other mushrooms were growing on sawdust logs.
The hope was that mushrooms would grow from these stumps and logs within the first year. We saw minimal results that year and were only able to produce about a pound of Reishi mushrooms. No Maitake mushrooms emerged the first year. I requested a one year extension in hopes of seeing better results the second year.
Unfortunately, the second year did not produce any better results. We only produced about two more pounds of Reishi mushrooms and still no Maitake. There was only minimal evidence that nay of the stumps had been taken over by the spawn but no mushrooms were ever grown from the stumps.
It is my opinion that this type of project will not be economically viable for the farmer who harvests trees for saw logs. There will need to be much more research and a more cost effective way of introducing the mushroom spawn into the tree tops and stumps. We also discovered that weather had a lot to do with determining if the log produced any mushrooms. Those which were kept under the Cedar trees and watered on a regular basis were the only ones which produced mushrooms. Those left in the woods and watered only by nature did not produce any mushrooms. Since a farmer would be inoculating tops and trees in the woods and not be able to water them, the financial success of this type of project seems very dim.
Since I did not have any success on the project, I did not build the mushrooms dehydrator and did not have a field day or speak at any of the farm conferences.